November 12, 2015
Albany, NY

Video, Photos & Transcript: Governor Cuomo Vetoes Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Project

TOP Video, Photos & Transcript: Governor Cuomo...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port. The Governor made the announcement this afternoon in Long Beach, citing security and economic concerns along with the potential to negatively impact off-shore wind development. The project, which had been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, required approval from both Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Christie under the federal Deepwater Port Act. Governor Cuomo detailed his full position in a letter sent today to the U.S. Maritime Administration. A copy of that letter is available here. More information on the announcement is available here.

VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks in Long Beach where he made this announcement is available in TV-quality (h264, mp4) format here, and on YouTube here.

AUDIO of the Governor’s remarks is available here.

PHOTOS from today’s event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page shortly.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

Good afternoon. It seems like you know why I’m here. It was supposed to be a secret. No, you had time to make signs. Okay. First, to my friend County Executive Ed Mangano who has done a fantastic job on so many fronts. It’s a pleasure to be back with him. Let’s give him a round of applause. To all of my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly who I hear from and who I get the chance and pleasure to work with in Albany. We talked about this issue and I thank them very much for their advice and their input. Let’s give them a round of applause. To all of the elected officials, to all of the advocates and the activists who have been involved in this issue for years.

First, it’s my pleasure to be back in Long Beach. It’s relatively dry. I get nervous when it rains now when I’m in Long Beach, I’ll tell you the truth. But a lot of memories in Long Beach, a lot of memories during Hurricane Sandy along the entire South Shore. A lot of days that I was out there with my colleagues and the County Executive. And that is relevant today. I was thinking about it and those images when I was thinking about this topic. Three years ago there was a proposal for an LNG plant, which would be just about 19 miles almost from exactly where we are out in the ocean. And there has been a lot of debate and a lot of discussion. I said that my team would research it and we would study it from every angle. And we have from the economics, from the environmental impact. We have spent a lot of time considering it in terms of our overall energy policy within the state. When I finish these remarks, I am going to sign a letter to the Maritime Industry vetoing the Port Ambrose project.

Thank you, thank you. Now, I just want to take a couple of minutes on the why, because the why is important. First, there are security concerns. Security in the old fashioned security, where we have terrorists groups that are springing up more and more, almost on a daily basis, who look for targets of opportunity where there is a potential to do a significant amount of damage. We know that al Qaeda has spoken about LNG terminals as a possible terrorist threat. We know that we haven’t yet fully contained terrorism and terrorists threats. We know that New York is at the top of the list of terrorist targets. So that is a very real concern.

Second, there is a security concern in terms of when Mother Nature acts up. And look, we have seen painfully, the damage that Mother Nature can do. I can’t tell you how many times here on Long Island, the County Executive and myself would be in a facility where they said, “This was designed to withstand a one-hundred-year flood, but we don’t know what happened.” I’ve been on dams in upstate New York where they were afraid the dam was going to burst because the flood water had never gotten that high. Hurricane Sandy – we know what it’s like to deal with firsts. To have on top of that, an LNG plant, with a pipeline, with thousand-foot tankers out there unloading, for me, increases exponentially the concern and the threat you would have to worry about with another hurricane or flood like Hurricane Sandy. And by the way, I don’t believe that that is the last time we’re going to deal with something like that. Climate change is real. Extreme weather is real.

I have been Governor for just over four years. I have had nine emergencies – natural emergencies – in four and a half years. My father was Governor for twelve years and he had eleven. So the frequency is way, way up, and that is something we have to take into consideration when we are planning or considering activities like this one.

Also, this facility is right in the middle of an area that has been proposed for possible renewable energy and it would disrupt that plan and there was no thought as to how the two plans could coexist. Also, it’s in the middle of an area that is sensitive from a fishing point of view. Commercial fishermen are out there fishing for squid, fishing for scallops, and it would disrupt that.

And on a very basic level I was thinking of this – I came over from a helicopter from the North. Coming down the beach along Long Island, that is one of the great treasures of the State of New York. That is one of the great national and international treasures. Long Island beaches really are an international gem. We are here and we take them for granted, but when you see Jones Beach and you see that strip of sand along Long Island, there is nothing like it. I was out there a couple of weeks ago. You know I’m an old Queens boy, so we were always going out to the beach, always going out fishing. I was out there a couple of weeks ago in search of blackfish. I was ready to catch them. My brother Chris didn’t know where he was going, but I was ready to catch the fish. So this is really a sensitive jewel that we have been given to hold in public trust. And it’s not ours, it’s for every generation that comes after us. It’s for our children and our grandchildren and our duty is to make sure it’s preserved and it’s protected.

So when you put all of those reasons together, the reward was not worth the risk and we are going to veto the Port Ambrose plant and we are going to do it now. Thank you and God bless you. 

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Contact the Governor's Press Office

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